Support the news

Can A Computer Grade An Essay?27:29
Download

Play
Can a computer grade an essay? EdX, the massive online education enterprise founded by Harvard and MIT, is about to make another big push in changing how we learn. (Joerg Sarbach/AP)
Can a computer grade an essay? EdX, the massive online education enterprise founded by Harvard and MIT, is about to make another big push in changing how we learn. (Joerg Sarbach/AP)

EdX, the massive online education enterprise founded by Harvard and MIT, is about to make another big push in changing how we learn.

It has to do with how instructors grade essays. You remember in high school, or college...you'd answer essay exam questions in a blue book, or by turning in a long, typed-out essay? Either way, you'd have to wait weeks for your grade.

Well, EdX has just introduced a system where students wait seconds. Not weeks... but seconds to get their grades. The group is using a newly developed automated software to grade essays. A computer scores the writing, and then allows students to re-write their essays immediately to try for a better grade.

But can computers adequately measure the nuances of good writing?

Guests

Les Perelman, former director of writing at MIT and President of the Consortium for the Research and Evaluation of Writing.

Mark Shermis, Professor of Education and Psychology at the University of Akron.

This segment aired on April 8, 2013.

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news